News: SD Guard engineers break ground on Habitat for Humanity facility
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Theanne Tangen
RAPID CITY, S.D. – South Dakota Army National Guard engineers are assisting the Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity to help build a new volunteer training and administration facility next to the ReStore Outlet center at 610 East Omaha St. in Rapid City.
Soldiers from the National Guard began the project Tuesday by breaking ground at the site and demolishing an unsafe, two-story office section connected to the center. Over the next few weeks, Guardsmen will continue to demo the site and remove debris. Once complete, area construction companies will begin prepping the site for the new facility, which includes ground work and foundation construction.
“The first phase is for us to tear it down, which will take us a couple of weeks,” said Capt. Mitch Nachtigall, SDNG community projects program manager. “Then Habitat for Humanity has some other partners they are working with to get everything prepped for the 155th Engineer Company to begin building the 5,000-square-foot facility in May.”
According to Scott Engmann, Black Hills Area HFH executive director, other community businesses assisting in the project include J. Scull Construction, along with the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, First National Bank, Dave Stafford Architecture, Fisk Engineering, Malone Engineering, Alberston Engineering and a host of other service providers.
Engmann said the new volunteer training facility will become the hub for training volunteers and staff who work every day to build homes, communities and hope for vulnerable, hardworking families.
“The partnership with the National Guard is very important to the Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity,” said Engmann. “The Guard is making this project possible with their expertise. We are able to get this project completed sooner than we expected due to the Guard helping us make it feasible. After working with the professionalism of Capt. Nachtigall and his team, we would be interested in moving forward with more projects in the future.”
Habitat for Humanity is able to partner with the National Guard because of their Innovative Readiness Training and Community Projects Program. The program is built upon the long-standing tradition of the National Guard, acting as good neighbors at the local level in applying military personnel to assist worthy civic and community needs.
Nonprofits such as HFH are not the only ones benefitting from such a project; the Guardsmen also gain valuable, real-world experience as engineers.
“We get a lot of value out of doing this because it is a real-world mission versus a training project,” said